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Posted at 3:25 PM ET, 07/ 8/2010

PM Update: A little cooler, but still hot

By Ian Livingston

Typical summer heat sticks around; Saturday rains?

* Do rainmakers work? | Tuesday heat stats | NatCast *
* Stay cool with a CWG Snowmageddon t-shirt: Check it out *
* Outside now? Radar, lightning, temps & more: Weather Wall *

It's cooler, but I didn't feel too cool outside today. Day five of the current heat wave and the 28th day at or above 90 degrees this year are in the books. When you think about it that way, we're pros at this stuff by now! While we look to stay with near or above normal temperatures for the foreseeable future, the severe heat of the last few days is being replaced by more typical summer heat and we even have a few shots of rain starting with some isolated stuff today.

Radar & lightning: Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: Watch out for an isolated shower or storm that could drop locally heavy rain in a few spots. Otherwise, this evening will be a bit better than the last few on the heat side, but humidity makes up for it as readings fall to near 90 around sunset. Temperatures don't fall too far overnight, though we'll be starting off lower so we should at least all get into the 70s. More specifically, as far down as the lower 70s in the suburbs to the mid-or-upper 70s downtown.

Tomorrow (Friday): It's another muggy and toasty day to wrap up the work week. Look for partly sunny skies with just the slight risk of an afternoon shower or storm as highs reach the low-to-mid 90s. Humidity levels should be near the oppressive level throughout the day, enjoy!

See David Streit's forecast through the beginning of next week. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Asphalt induced heat? Anthony Watts of the blog, "Watts Up With That?", made a thought provoking post yesterday about the numerous heat records that fell this week, particularly at BWI. He argues that in many cases it is the siting of the measurement station, and of course increased urbanization overall, causing these higher temperatures.

By Ian Livingston  | July 8, 2010; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: NatCast: Warm, humid and small shower chance


28 days at or above 90, as of July 8th. Wow.

Is there a good source for historical info on the number of days at or above 90 degrees? I'm sure I could work it out from the raw data, but it would be nice to see a summary. I'm curious about things like: how many days would we have at or above 90 in a typical summer, what the record for a whole summer, and what the record is for the year up to July 8th.

Sorry if this has been covered on a previous post.

Posted by: ElJocko | July 8, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

ElJocko, the avg for Jun-Aug is 31, while for a whole yr it is 36 (I believe, have to check data at home). If you check back later this evening I can give stats season-to-date comparison wise. At the end of last month we were running #1 for at or above 90, so we should still be close or there.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | July 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

There have been summers with more than 50 90-degree-plus days and I think there was one summer (1980) when there were 63 such days. But CWG has access to accurate data.

I do know we all felt like we were being deep fried during the summer of 1980.

Thus far, this summer has been more a flip or two on the griddle. But that's thus far....

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | July 8, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Kind of an odd storm over Fauquier County. Almost stationary over the southeast part of the county. It's rotating too.

Posted by: barnstormer | July 8, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see a study of the Frederick Airport equipment. Their high temperatures during the summer are totally b.s. From what I can see their equipment is right out next to a runway sitting overtop of concrete. I have a friend who has a home station and lives two miles from the airport and he told me that his highs during this heat wave have been consistently 8 - 10 degrees lower than Frederick's.

Posted by: MKadyman | July 8, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's an updated (thru today) chart of the top 30 yrs for 90+ season-to-date at DC. Note 1980 still absent at this pt with 13 as of July 8. Also, for those interested, an excel sheet with all yrs since 1872 90+ and 100+ days.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | July 8, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Ian - great spreadsheet. Thanks!

Looks like 1980 is the year to beat with a total of 67 90+ days. Strong start this year. Finishing with a bang? Hope not. 2004 had only 11? Unbelievable.

Posted by: LoudounGeek | July 8, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Ian. Great chart and spreadsheet. I find it amazing that 1980 only had 13 at this point, but ended up with 67. That must have been a miserable end to the summer.

(I spent the summer of 1980 living in Providence, RI. So I missed most of the Washington heat wave. On the other hand, I was living in a little apartment with no A/C, so that was--in its own way--a little piece of misery.)

So is it appropriate to start rooting for us to break the record for most 90+ days in a year? I was all for us breaking the seasonal snow record--it only seems fair to be in favor of breaking the heat record too!

Posted by: ElJocko | July 8, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh how I wish that it would rain...

Posted by: natsncats | July 8, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

natsncats...not before I get to my dance at 8PM...and I wish "MNR" would quit these "rain dances" EVERY time I have a big dance on the's happening TOO OFTEN this year despite the "drought", which would be far worse if we hadn't gotten all the snow this past winter! Hmm...I see more rain on the Tuesday night Clarendon Ballroom agenda.

mKadyman has a good idea re the Frederick airport, which always seems to record high temps these days. Fredericksburg, VA should also be checked out...they're always running high too. BTW DCA is always low on snow depth since they are right on the river.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | July 9, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Ian, thanks for clarifying it was 67 days, not 63, that reached or surpassed 90 degrees in 1980. Considering it was 30 years ago, my memory, while not perfect, wasn't too far off.

Nany of those hot days weren't all that oppresively humid, because I worked in my garden plot on a many of those days, right through the hottest part of the day.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | July 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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